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Analysis of Soil Vapor Extraction Data to Evaluate Mass-Transfer Constraints and Estimate Source-Zone Mass Flux

Brusseau, Mark L., Rohay, Virginia, Truex, Michael J.
Ground water monitoring & remediation 2010 v.30 no.3 pp. 57-64
carbon tetrachloride, groundwater contamination, mass transfer, pollutants, risk assessment, soil analysis, soil vapor extraction, vadose zone, vapors
Methods are developed to use data collected during cyclic operation of soil vapor extraction (SVE) systems to help characterize the magnitudes and time scales of mass flux associated with vadose zone contaminant sources. Operational data collected at the Department of Energy's Hanford site are used to illustrate the use of such data. An analysis was conducted of carbon tetrachloride vapor concentrations collected during and between SVE operations. The objective of the analysis was to evaluate changes in concentrations measured during periods of operation and nonoperation of SVE, with a focus on quantifying temporal dynamics of the vadose zone contaminant mass flux, and associated source strength. Three mass flux terms, representing mass flux during the initial period of an SVE cycle, during the asymptotic period of a cycle, and during the rebound period, were calculated and compared. It was shown that it is possible to use the data to estimate time frames for effective operation of an SVE system if a sufficient set of historical cyclic operational data exists. This information could then be used to help evaluate changes in SVE operations, including system closure. The mass flux data would also be useful for risk assessments of the impact of vadose zone sources on groundwater contamination or vapor intrusion.